Sent Tuesday afternoon, a tweet from the G Suite account shared information about the "biggest crypto-giveaway in the world," which followers could access by first sending over some bitcoin of their own. The tweet was spotted by Twitter users who managed to grab screenshots of the post before it was deleted.
Verified accounts across Twitter have recently fallen victim to this kind of widespread hacking effort. Needless to say, the cryptocurrency giveaway to which it makes reference doesn't exist - it's a ploy to get cryptocurrency.
These accounts, some of which are edited to impersonate Tesla CEO Elon Musk, share tweets that peddle a fake cryptocurrency giveaway and attempt to scam Twitter users into sending bitcoin via a sketchy URL. Some posts, as in the case of the G Suite tweet, were even successfully "promoted" through Twitter's ad service to appear higher up in followers' feeds.
"This morning an unauthorised promoted tweet was shared from the G Suite account," a Google spokesperson said in a statement provided to Business Insider. "We removed the tweet and are investigating with Twitter now."
A Twitter spokesperson told Business Insider that the G Suite account was locked as the team discovered it was "inappropriately accessed," and that the platform would continue to "closely monitor" the situation.
Twitter is well aware of the cryptocurrency scam since reports first surfaced back in July, when the platform tried to curb the hacks by instantly locking any accounts that changed their display name to "Elon Musk." But scammers have found ways to circumvent Twitter's efforts, and have gained access to verified accounts including those for Pantheon Books, India's national disaster authority, and Fox's discontinued TV show "Almost Human."
The platform is apparently taking further steps and investing in "proactive tools" to fight the cryptocurrency scams, says the Twitter spokesperson.
Google was not the only major company hit Tuesday by the bitcoin scam - Target was also apparently hacked, as the retailer posted to Twitter.
Early this morning, our Twitter account was inappropriately accessed. The access lasted for approx. half an hour & one fake tweet was posted during that time about a bitcoin scam. We have regained control of the account, are in close contact with Twitter & are investigating now.— Target (@Target) November 13, 2018
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